AMARAVATI: The proposed greenfield airport at Bhogapuram near the port city of Visakhapatnam gets one step closer to becoming a reality with the Andhra Pradesh government signing a concession agreement with GMR Airports Limited, the project developer, in Amaravati on Friday.
The agreement was firmed up in the presence of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Industries Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy, APIIC Chairperson Roja and GMR Group’s GBS Raju. AP Special Chief Secretary for Industries and Infrastructure Karikal Valaven and Raju signed on the agreement on behalf of the state government and GMR Group respectively.
The signing of the agreement follows a decision on March 4 by the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led state cabinet to grant permission to the GMR Group to proceed further with the development of the Bhogapuram International Airport in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode. The state cabinet approved the bid offered by GMR.
The GMR Group would be allotted 2,200 acres of land for the development of the greenfield airport. The GMR group, according to the latest development model, offered to pay Rs 303 PPF (per passenger fee) to the government.
Going by the projections, the proposed Greenfield airport is expected to service 3.1 million passengers by 2021 and the number is likely to reach nine million by 2036, as per sources in the AP Airports Development Corporation quoted by news agency PTI.
The proposal for Bhogapuram international airport, at about 40 km from the port city of Visakhapatnam, was first moved in the year 2014 after the bifurcation of the state.
The project however did not take off in close to six years and remained on paper as a mere proposal.
In August 2017, Airports Authority of India had earned the bid to develop the Bhogapuram airport but the then state government annulled it in January 2018.
In the subsequent tender floated by the government, the GMR Group emerged as the highest bidder armed with a modified finance model.